Phoenix Family News
February 5, 2021
Important Dates Ahead...
- February 7: Registration deadline for Learning Model Change for Trimester 3 (see district website for details)
- February 8 & 9: NO SCHOOL for all students
- February 12: VLA Flex Friday
- February 15: NO SCHOOL for all students
Calendar and Schedule Updates
The latest calendar updates are available at sowashco.org/calendar.
February Focus on Kindness
Our focus this month (and every month!) is KINDNESS. February, however, more than any other month, reminds us to be kind to our classmates, our friends, and our families. In fact, Random Acts of Kindness week is recognized specifically from February 14-20 this year.
We are working with our students this month to help them recognize that when you do something nice for someone else, it makes you feel better too. Participating in random acts of kindness release the "feel-good hormones" and boosts your levels of seratonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of satisfaction and well-being. Like exercise, kindness toward and helping others also releases endorphins, a phenomenon known as a “helper's high.”
Don't be surprised if your children participate in random acts of kindness this month!
I Love to Read Month
February is I Love to Read Month! We at Valley Crossing love reading all year round, but we encourage students to participate in I Love to Read activities during this month. Click on this link to find a packet full of activities, including information on Adopting a Book for the Media Center, getting a public library card, voting for Minnesota Youth Reading Award titles, decorating bookmarks, and playing reading bingo! Happy reading!
Car Arrival and Dismissal Reminders
As you know, our car line is extremely long this year, and we thank you for the grace and patience you have shown as you dropoff and pickup your students. Some reminders:
- PLEASE do not start lining up for dismissal before 3:30 pm. We have a number of staff who work Kids Club at the end of the day that are not able to enter the parking lot due to backups from people starting to line up as early as 3:00-3:15. Even with more cars in line, we have been able to get everyone in their cars by 4:00 pm
- It is extremely helpful to pull as far forward as possible at every point in line so we can condense the line and get more cars in our parking lot.
- Please continue to have your child enter and exit your car at the curb. As soon as your child has entered or exited your vehicle, please pull forward to allow more students to be dropped off/picked up.
- If your child needs extra assistance, please park and meet your child at the crosswalk. For safety, we ask that parents remain on the east side of the crosswalk and your child crosses to meet you.
Need to Upload your child's Picture for the Yearbook?
For directions on uploading an individual portrait, please click on the PDF below.
Candid Yearbook Pictures Wanted!
We are making some adjustments to how we create the VCES yearbook for 2020-2021. This is an awesome opportunity that allows us to really showcase who our students are in school and out of school. To pull this off, we would really appreciate your help. Please submit any pictures you have taken of our VCES students that show what they've been up to this school year.
Some ideas to consider:
- Pictures with pets
- Pictures playing sports
- Pictures doing activities
- Pictures learning from home
- Pictures with something they can't live without
- Pictures of them being them
Here is the link to upload pictures. Please enter login ID 415943946. For further directions, please click on the PDF below. We greatly appreciate your contributions and hope to get as many students as possible included in the yearbook this year!
Our winter conferences will mirror the conferences that we held in the fall. Instead of having two nights dedicated to conferences as we have in the past, we will be offering a "Winter Conference Window" from February 22-March 5 for all hybrid and VLA students and families. Your child's homebase teacher will be connecting with you to set up a 15-minute time slot that works for your family to meet virtually.
We have a long-standing tradition of student-led conferences, and while we won't be having our traditional 15 minutes for you to review your child's Progressfolio, we do ask that your child be part of the 15-minute conference with the teacher to review what's going well and to set goals for the upcoming trimester.
If your child receives special education and/or EL services, case managers will also be reaching out to families to set something up, and our specialists will be having open WebEx nights if you're hoping to check in! Stay tuned for more information!
Illnesses and Absences
Please be sure to call in to our attendance line to report absences or illness: 651-425-7506
Any sick student who is sent to school, or is determined to be sick during the school day, will immediately be sent home.
The 14-day quarantine period will remain in place. If staff or students had close contact with an infected person, the Minnesota Department of Health may direct us to keep them out of school for a minimum of 14 days.
We ask that families be prepared for the possibility that their child’s class could move to distance learning at any time due to a potential COVID-19 exposure.
Vacations and Other Extended Absences
Are you looking for something to do while your kids are at school? Or do you know someone who is looking to get into the schools? We have the following positions open!
- Lunch/Recess Paraprofessional, 11:00 am-1:30 pm daily
A Quick Note from Dr. Gervais, School Social Worker
As many of our students return to the classroom, I will be evaluating how to balance my schedule to meet student needs at Valley and in VLA. As of now, I will dedicate one day a week to VLA or quarantined students for individual meetings and consultation with parents. I will be available Wednesday's 12:00-4:00 pm. You can view my schedule and availability online at https://calendly.com/drgervais
Check out my Virtual Classroom filled with fun activities to do at home.
Resources for Families - District 833 has a website that will link you to a variety of resources from food, mental health, and unemployment and so much more. Bookmark this page for future use: https://www.sowashco.org/about/learning_models/family_resources
VCES Information Links
- Family Technology Support Line: Fall 2020 website / 651.425.HELP (4357) - M-F 7:30-4:00
- VNN Channel Page - Tune in each morning at 9:15 am as your Morning Meeting starts!
- Resources for Families: https://www.sowashco.org/about/fall_2020/family_resources
VCES Contact Information
Connha Classon, Principal: firstname.lastname@example.org / 651.425.7503
Kristine McDonald, Assistant Principal: email@example.com / 651.425.7523
Merita LaPlante, Office Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org / 651.425.7501
Jen Gackstetter, Office Assistant: email@example.com / 651.425.7507Jen Gervais, Social Worker: firstname.lastname@example.org / 651.425.7542 (Note Change)